Sunday morning, Pastor Cindy quoted N.T. Wright, a quote that is absolutely worth visiting and meditating on again. He said, “The resurrection is not an isolated supernatural oddity proving how powerful, if apparently arbitrary, God can be when he wants to. Nor is it at all a way of showing that there is indeed a heaven awaiting us after death. It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.”
It is tempting to read those words and think, “I already know this.” But do our actions as individuals and as a church reflect that we KNOW that? Does our individual and collective mindset reflect that knowledge?
Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom of God is near. Too often, there is the misconception that that means His kingdom will be coming soon. Our mindset and actions reflect that we think it is still something that hasn’t happened yet. But His kingdom being near doesn’t necessarily refer to an event in time, though it does mean that also. It means that His kingdom is near to us in space. It is literally near to us as we move about our daily lives. It is in the spheres around us, where we cannot see, but by faith (one of the siblings of hope, as Pastor Cindy pointed out), we know it is there. And it is so much more than simply getting “souls saved”.
One day it will be fully revealed to us. Until then, every act of love and kindness, every act of care for creation, is participating in bringing about the kingdom. We are not fruitlessly oiling a machine that is about to run off of a cliff. By God’s mercy and grace, we are participants in bringing about more and more of His kingdom, on earth as it already is in heaven. So let us not grow weary in well-doing. We have so much to hope for!